Spiced chicken, spinach & sweet potato stew

Spiced chicken, spinach & sweet potato stew

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4

A healthy one-pot with warming spices that's low fat, low calorie, 3 of your 5-a-day and also full of fibre!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal445
  • fat12g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre10g
  • protein33g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 190g bag spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 500ml chicken stock

For the spice paste

  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 400g can tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

To serve

  • pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2-3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 naan bread, warmed


  1. Put the sweet potato in a large, deep saucepan over a high heat. Cover with boiling water and boil for 10 mins. Meanwhile, put all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until very finely chopped. Set aside until needed.

  2. Put the spinach in a large colander in the sink and pour the sweet potatoes and their cooking water over it to drain the potatoes and wilt the spinach at the same time. Leave to steam-dry.

  3. Return the saucepan to the heat (no need to wash it first), then add the oil, followed by the spice paste. Fry the paste for about 5 mins until thickened, then add the chicken. Fry for 8-10 mins until the chicken starts to colour. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

  4. Check the chicken is cooked by cutting into one of the thighs and making sure it’s white throughout with no signs of pink. Season with black pepper, then add the sweet potato. Leave to simmer for a further 5 mins. Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach and add to the stew. At this point you can leave the stew to cool and freeze for up to 3 months, if you like.

  5. Scatter over the pumpkin seeds and preserved lemons, and serve with warm naan bread on the side.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Anna Szeremeta's picture
Anna Szeremeta
20th May, 2020
Made this for the first time today and after it was made I decided to look at the comments as I found it both watery and a little bland. I had added garlic but used fresh lemon zest instead of preserved lemons. Instead of simmering for hours to reduce I added red lentils at the simmering stage and let it simmer for 30 minutes. What a difference it made. As well as thickening the stew, it added flavour. Lovely recipe.
5th Jan, 2020
I feel like I made a different recipe to others. For me 'one pot' means literally you use one pot (and maybe a chopping board) and that's it. The cooking method is a huge faff and created a load of dishes. If I'm going to spend this amount of time in the kitchen I want something that is worth the wait. Mine had no flavour and wasn't remotely spicy. To be fair I didn't have the lemons but I can't see that saving this meal. Also what size of portions are other people eating. We had enough for about 6 people from a 4 person meal, and I had to divide it between 2 pans.
3rd Jul, 2019
Had to simmer sauce and stock for almost two hours to reduce, used plum toms and butternut instead of sweet potatoes and just threw the butternut straight into sauce after reducing it, also just threw in left over roast chicken and spinach. It was v tasty and enjoyed by all.
dorothyr's picture
6th Jan, 2019
I agree with other reviewers that the sauce was thin but it is still a lovely comforting dish. The next time I make it I will use just one lemon in the sauce as two lemons for four people is slightly overpowering. Having said that my husband loved it. Didn't bother with the extra lemons on serving. Next time I will add garlic and cut down on the stock. Will definitely make it again.
Claire Teddy's picture
Claire Teddy
19th Mar, 2018
Very easy and full of flavour I would agree to fry the chicken separate then add as the paste is like liquid I think next time I would not ass the chopped tomatoes until later and I would cook the sweet potatoes same time as the chicken. Overall a very nice healthy family dinner!!
Finn Wilson's picture
Finn Wilson
15th Mar, 2018
Really yummy. I made a veggie version with chickpeas and quorn chicken. Added much less stock and did not put the extra preserved lemons in at the end.
14th Mar, 2017
This is a really easy light mid week dish. I added cauliflower, garlic and extra chilli powder to make it more interesting.
8th Feb, 2017
I made this at the weekend for my family and it went down a treat! I have to say the paste was rather runny so I browned the chicken in a separate pan and added to the paste (to which I also added garlic). I cooked up to the frozen stage in the morning and then transferred to a casserole pot to re-heat later. As we were meeting friends for a drink in a local pub, I popped the dish in the oven 160 for 1.5 hours. Got home, warmed the naan bread and mopped up all those lovely juices. Clean dishes all round.
6th Feb, 2017
Very disappointing. Really lacked depth of flavour, too much onion and preserved lemon coming through.
30th Jan, 2017
I am an experienced cook and enjoy cooking for my family, but this turned out to be an overwhelming disaster!! firstly the paste was far too runny to fry as was suggested! But the preserved lemons were far too overpowering and I only used half of what was suggested.. cant understand what went wrong .Especially when all the comments were so positive..even my teenage sons couldn't finish and that's saying somethin!! it was so bad that even my teenage sons couldn't eat more than a few mouthfuls and thats saying something! !, will I try again. ?....undecided..


28th Sep, 2016
Love this recipe but one question: is it ok to prepare the paste the night before?
18th Apr, 2016
Can this be made without the preserved lemon, using lemon juice instead?
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